I have neglected this blog way to long, but with Covid19 and just doing nothing but working and staying indoors, I have been so uninspired. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. I have a blogging friend who lives in Canada and he has posted pretty regular even during his country’s lockdown and is such an inspiration to me when it comes to getting out and shooting. You can check him out at https://robmosesphotography.com, Thank you Rob for the past few years of inspiration!
I had a few photos to edit from my Photography group Meetup; we went to Ave Maria and photographed this beautiful church. It’s a wonderful little self contained town in the middle of nowhere, built by the owner of Domino’s Pizza. After, we had a nice lunch at a small pub with lovely outdoor seating.
I needed to get outside today and wanted to write. It’s a beautiful day with a wonderful breeze and I am the only enjoying the outside of the Starbucks seating area. It feels good to just be outside working for a change.
Photography work is picking up and people are getting out a bit more, so I’m hoping for more “outdoor” time with taking more photos and just enjoying my life.
UPDATE: New cat Shai from my last blog post. She is officially mine and is just delightful, well behaved and a wonderful companion. Although I miss my boy she is filling that love void in the best possible way.
I found out last June that I was going to be a grandmother for the first time, thanks to my first born son and his wife. I had to keep it a secret (which was very hard to do) until they made the announcement. Well on January 21, 2021 We welcomed Jaxson James into the world and I immediately made plans to visit them in Arizona. Around this time my beautiful Tuxedo cat Harpo got deathly ill and I almost lost him. Thanks to my wonderful Vet he recovered and with all test results he was cleared and on the mend, or so I thought.
As I began to plan out my trip, purchase tickets, rent a car and figure out what to pack, my boy would have good days, great days and a bad day now and again. I had medication which I gave him regularly and made plans for my son to house sit and take care of him and my outdoor feral cat.
I left on a Friday and met my grandson for the very first time! He is beautiful and my heart is so full of joy over having him! I was so blessed to be able to spend time with him. I was going to enjoy him as much as I could for the ten days. He made me a Nali! While out there we went sight seeing, had a couple of beautiful meals out with family and friends and just an overall great time!
Unfortunately the Sunday evening after I left, my boy Harpo was gone. He was sick that morning and my son did everything he was shown to do, but Harpo stopped eating and his body slowly gave out, my son had to make the call to his mom from 2000 miles away. We both cried, me, more so for the fact that my son is the one who found him and had to take care of his final resting. I knew for me, I had a week to spend with my beautiful grandson, and his parents, so my attention was on them a hundred percent, but I knew upon returning home, the cold reality would hit me; My Harpo of almost 12 years was gone. The grief is strong, I miss him every day.
As I stated there was a feral I had been feeding outdoors, a very young (*less than a year old kitten). She and her siblings hang around because my neighbor feeds them. The Day Harpo got really sick was the day she decided she wanted to be “my” cat. I kept her outside because with Harpo already sick I didn’t want her to bring anything in to him, but the would chatter and “talk” through the windows. The day before his passing I saw on my kitchen cam that he jumped up on the counter (he did the rarely), but he was “talking” to his new friend. I would like to think he was having his final talk with her to let her know he would be leaving and to take care of me after he left. When I got home from the airport on that Monday, she came running to me! My heart was breaking for my loss, but I knew this was Harpo’s final gift to me. Let me introduce you to Shai (pronounced Shy) her name means “gift”. She chose me to love…and I feel Harpo told her to be kind and to not bother the birds and to sleep at night instead of play. Last night was her first night inside all night, she was excellent. Our adventure begins.
*UPDATE: Shai had a chip and has been spayed. Vet’s office had to try and contact the former owner however, no one responded, and one more thing she is not a kitten, she is seven years old according to her chip information. As of yesterday she is now officially mine, she has become an inside cat and was given a clean bill of health and received all her shots and tests.
I belong to a Meetup.com group for photographers call the SWFL Shutterbugs. I have been a member of this group for quite a number of years and have made some wonderful friends. This past weekend 26 of us gathered and went on an eco tour of Babcock Ranch. It’s not just a historic part of Florida’s history, but it’s still a working ranch with the descendants of the original Spanish Cattle and real working cracker cowboys.
The best thing is the wildlife we saw. Lots of wild hogs and baby pigs (bacon bits!), Wild turkey, Sandhill Cranes and lots of Alligators; lots to photograph!
We were fortunate enough to have our own private tour with a wonderful tour guide. The tour uses old school busses as their swamp buggies. It’s open, and bumpy and just a lot of fun; we filled the bus with our group. I love the wildlife, but my heart danced with joy when the cowboy’s horses came over and graced us with their presence. Our tour was over 90 minutes and was simply wonderful.
After the tour we all had lunch together catered by the ranch. As much as our group loves to take pictures, we love to gather together fellowship with each other and eat just as much.
If you ever make it to South West Florida please visit the Babcock Ranch Eco Tour, it’s worth every penny. Please enjoy the photos and feel free to leave me your thoughts.
Out goes the old year and decade and in comes the new!
I’m not going lament on not posting a blog regularly, because I have let that go, I’m never have felt guilty or that I needed to this past year. 2019 has been an incredible year. My best in a very long time! I want to share with you all the wonderful things I have experienced. So without further ado lets get into it.
What have I been up to this past year? It comes to 91 different photo opportunities for the year which comes to almost 2 events a week. Here is a breakdown of what I have accomplished for this past year.
6 – different elements of commercial type work.
9 – Concerts outside of Hertz Arena (most with the radio stations I provide for).
1 – fun creative project
13 – events outside of concerts and Hertz Arena, again supporting the radio stations.
28 – concerts & events at Hertz Arena
4 – local band shoots
18 – Meetup events with my Shutterbugs group
7 – different places visited
4 – portrait sessions
1 – wedding
This year was also epic because the new owners of Hertz Arena where I am the house photographer decided to use several photos I have taken the past few years of events and concerts. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were museum quality prints in a large format on metal in approximately 38″ x 42″ size. Also, they posted an approximately 50′ collage banner all done in black & white over one of the concession areas.This year was also epic because the new owners of Hertz Arena where I am the house photographer decided to use several photos I have taken the past few years of events and concerts. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were museum quality prints in a large format on metal in approximately 32″ x 48″ size. Also, they posted an approximately 50′ collage banner all done in black & white over one of the concession areas. *Disclaimer: Melvin Vigo took the photos of me in the gallery photos and Ali O’Connor took the banner images; also the hockey images are the work of Kevin Bires.
Another exciting event was Stars on Ice. Last year I took a photo of Olympic Gold Medalist Charlie White during one of his routines with his partner Meryl Davis. This year, I had him sign the photo. Can’t wait to hang this in my new apartment!
Some of my favorite images from this past year are from many different events, concerts and work I have done in 2019.
I cannot wait to see what 2020 will bring my way, I know by looking at my new planner it’s already filled with numerous events & concert.
Feel free to share your 2019 with me and the best thing you are looking forward to in 2020.
Since I have not put any pressure upon myself to blog this year, I have been enjoying photographing and writing a bit more. Pressure is off and I’m being more creative.
January was busy, February a close second and March is catching up! In the past three months, I’ve photographed mega star Cher, WWE, a Bacon Jam festival, a circus, a couple of local bands & events, Joe Bonamassa, Shinedown with Asking Alexandria and Papa Roach (more on this later). I have also photographed a hip hop concert and a TacoFest!
I have upcoming this month (March) Impractical Jokers and a couple more local events.
I would have had a few more opportunities, however the Shinedown concert took me out of the picture for about a week. The concert was great, but the fog used, not so much. I know I can’t be around smoke for very long without running into breathing issues, but I never once thought about stage fog, and I was out for several days due to bronchial asthma caused by the fog. Live & learn!
Recently I’ve been doing some commercial work for my son’s best friend. He recently returned from Vietnam where he was managing a resort and has started a Bamboo Straw business. Because I have done some website photography work for him, he has given me a discount code for my followers who may be interested in purchasing a renewable no waste straw to replace using plastic ones. These straws are fantastic, no aftertaste, they can be composted so they are zero waste and with the beautiful travel kit you will received a lovely pouch with a coconut button closure. The discount code is EARTH and it will give you 10% off your total purchase; his website: Bamboo Step. Please visit and consider saving our planet one straw at a time.
Every year I start out with, “I’m going to blog more, I’m going to shoot more and I’m going to post more”; then, reality hits and it doesn’t happen. This year, because I want to take better care of myself mentally and not put the weight of this upon myself, I am not going to set any resolutions. However, my usual goal setting is going to happen, because I achieve more when I set goals, but they will be things that will enrich my life and not make it more stressful or things that won’t make me feel guilty if I fall through.
Another thing that is going to happen this year, is I’m going to focus my energy more in doing concerts and open myself up to doing more local band portraiture work.
I also want to do more nature photography which takes me to my happy place. I will continue to do the occasional wedding and portrait shoot; in fact I have a wedding on the books for August of 2019 and I know I will be photographing my favorite little and her family a few times this year. I really want to focus on what drives me which is the music and being out in nature.
I want to grow my Instagram and will be focusing more on the concert side of that with my @photocreationsbydeb page. I may create a new one for my own personal work with the natural environment, but time will tell.
The point is, I’m not going to goal myself to the degree where I beat myself up if I don’t achieve the goals. I’m putting them out there, if they are completed, great! If not then that’s ok too and I will just work smarter on the important ones.
A Quick Look Back
In 2018 I decided to take a full vacation, somewhere other than Florida. I went to North Caroline to spend time with girlfriends who know me better than just about anyone (and they still love me, imagine that!). I began planning early which made the excitement build. It was such a wonderful trip with lots of mountain air to clear my head and exploring new and exciting places.
I have not taken a vacation, a real vacation in more than a dozen years. I carry a pretty heavy schedule majority of the time due to working a full time job and photographing events and concerts thought out the year. But this year I decided I needed a break, a long two week break in the mountains of North Carolina. My best friend of almost fifty years lives in a little town called Concord. So on October 15 I boarded flight 818 and headed north.
It was a very short flight; less than an hour and a half and was uneventful. We landed on and I made my way across the tarmac to my waiting friend. I should mention that she too is a Debbie. When I got off the plane the temperature was cooler, but still warm, however I was in for a surprise.
On Tuesday we took off on a road trip up through the Pisgah National Forest and up through the mountains searching for some color and some waterfalls. The color was missing from this scenario as North Carolina had longer than normal summer temperatures which was keeping the leaves from changing. Not to mention two hurricane’s had passed through the area.
Our first stop was a little diner where I enjoyed a nice plate of NC style BBQ, one word; Yum! Our adventure continued as we drove through the mountains of the Pisgah National Forest and the weather took a turn and it started to rain. This did not stop our trekking the beaten path to find a waterfall; not only did I find one, but a covered bridge too! Giant score for me photographically speaking. The rain was coming down pretty steady but my excitement built as I heard the sound of rushing water and once we arrived the sound became deafening, but in such a wonderful restorative way.
This next week we stayed close to home and I was able to photograph some local birds and experience a change in temperature. Then on Saturday our other best friend flew in so we made another road trip into Charlotte to pick her up. Did I mention she too is a Debbie? (North Carolina will never be the same).
That weekend we invited a few friends who live in the area over for a gathering, it was great to see them and to meet their families. So much love in one place……incredible.
On Monday October 22 we three Debbie’s took off on a road trip once again. We drove up through the Blue Ridge Parkway and I was able to find more color, the temperature had dropped from the upper 70’s to the mid 30’s and settled around 45 degrees. For this Florida girl it was cold, but the crisp air, sharing time with my best friends and just enjoying the ride and the color seeping through the trees was something I can’t explain in words, only heart can. We drove up to about 5000 feet, found a lovely little restaunt to have lunch and then off to find Linville Falls. We didn’t hike to the top, but I was happy with what we found. Continuing our drive we found icicles popping out of the side of a mountain. So we pulled in to a parking area and I hiked back to the area where water was seeping out of the rocks. My lungs were screaming with the thinner and colder 37 degree air, but it was so beautiful.
I needed this time away, I needed to do some life reflection and to be with my girls who know me so well. I have not laughed or loved like this in a very long time. They are amazing; we are amazing to have had this friendship of 50 years that is so deep and unshakeable. The T-shirts Debbie brought us says it all the back has the three D’s and it says “True Friendship Grows Forever”.
I love these girls so much and I was sad to depart. I will be back…..again.
Autumn through Spring has me hopping when it comes to photography work. Lots of concerts keep me from having very much free time and when I get any, it’s only for a few hours at most. I do a lot of traveling and with editing my personal time is at a premium.
The past few weeks I have had completely free weekends and I took advantage and went camping.
My first adventure was over Mother’s Day weekend where I spent a lot of time with my youngest son Tommy Owen at Trail Lakes Campground where I stayed in one of the wonderful cabins.We took an adventure and walked through an area where no one really goes. It was around a lake that was full of alligators and nesting Green-back Herons. Sometimes we didn’t really have a path to follow, we just allowed the lake bank to guide us.
This past weekend I went camping at Myakka River State Park, it’s been a few years since I have been there and I made sure to secure my favorite spot. The first evening was beautiful and I did a lot of shooting.
Upon returning to my campsite a heavy rainstorm ensued. The rain continued all through the night and into the early morning. I ended up leaving a little early because of the rain. It was still a great weekend to be away enjoying the natural environment.
This weekend will be back to my concert shooting, so watch my Facebook page for some upcoming photos. Until next time, from behind the lens.
I really have been negligent with my blog. I can only attribute it to pure laziness. I must get out of that mindset and really buckle down. I tell myself it’s because I don’t have any content, which really isn’t true, I have the content, I’m just lazy.
So here goes a new post, and hopefully this will spurn me into doing more writing and shooting.
This past weekend I took a much needed break and went camping. I got to hang out with my youngest son Tommy and we tried some night photography work, but the clouds wouldn’t cooperate so I really didn’t get much. We hung out with a giant snake and I took photos of Tom and he of me.
I also scheduled a portrait photo shoot with one of my favorite little girls. I really don’t take portraits of children often, because they wear me out, mentally & physically, but this little lady is so very special. I have had the privilege of taking photographs of her since she was about six months old and have every 6 months to a year since. She is on the cusp of turning four (December) and honestly you would think as a toddler, she would be all over the place, however around the age of two, I had her complete attention. I alway allow her to dictate when our session is finished (and she has), but she has always given me one hundred percent. I have asked her to pose a certain way and have shown her and she does it…..without question. This weekend was different. I still showed her what I was wanting, but I took it a step further and asked her how she wanted to pose; what I got was just incredible. This child micro-moves like a model. She also uses her eyes, and I just love that about her. Here are a few of her photographs showing her sass and Superhero self!
A cute Super Hero
If you like what you see feel free to visit my Facebook page and give it a like! and follow me on my Social Media sites.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to see Sir Rod Stewart in concert, I purchased a really good ticket and was excited to drive to the east coast to see him. A couple of days prior to the concert I had gotten the flu and was terribly ill, however I was hoping to feel better and attend the concert in Sunrise. Day of the concert get’s here and I am still not feeling 100%, but I kept thinking by the time I need to leave I will feel better. NOPE, the time came to leave and I tried to go, but it wasn’t going to happen. I was really bummed and I kept the ticket to remind myself how close I got.
Rod Stewart was returning in concert again, and I decided this time to put in for credentials to photograph him along with Cyndi Lauper. As the time approached I had not received word so I had given up and made other plans for the day. An email came at 10:59pm on Friday night, but I didn’t open my email until mid morning Saturday, I was ecstatic to learn that I had been approved to photograph he and Cyndi Lauper at Amalie Arena in Tampa Florida and quickly printed out the parking pass and the release form, got my gear together and headed out the door.
Cyndi Lauper came out strong and was incredible. Rod came on stage with the flair he’s known for, he was a bucket list artist for me and what an honor to photograph him, he was fabulous! The extra treat was a last minute change in number of songs I could shoot, as they added a song with he and Cyndi singing together!
What a great experience in a place I had never photographed before. And even though I have been doing this sort of photography for quite some time, I did learn a few things; bring your ID, they need it for you to get through security, I didn’t have it on me, but they let me in anyway, and bring a small step stool, I actually have one, but it’s heavy and I have already looked at some online which I will be purchasing soon, it will come in handy.
I think this concert was what I needed to relieve me of the funk and writer’s block I have been having. Please enjoy….until next time from the pit.